The image of a geisha is synonymous with Japanese culture.
The Japanese character for gei means “of the arts” and sha means “person”. Literally translated, geisha means “a person of the arts”.
A geisha is a performer skilled in many traditional Japanese arts includingnihon-buyoh, Japanese-dance, traditional singing accompanied by a three stringed instrument called the shamisen, sadoh, the tea ceremony, shodoh, calligraphy, poetry, the art of the kimono, as well etiquette, conversation and social graces. The latter of these were most important when geisha performed at tea houses. They also perform at parties and banquets.
Geisha dress in traditional kimonos and wear geta, wooden clogs. Their hair is worn up and adorned with ornaments exposing the neckline which is considered to be one of the most beautiful parts of a woman. Geisha use a white foundation make-up and paint their lips bright red.
Long ago geisha were traditionally trained from young childhood. Young girls were sometimes bought from poor families by geisha houses who took responsibility for raising and training them. Of course that practices has long been discontinued and women voluntarily become geisha at an older age however there is still a lengthy training process in place.
In the 1920’s there were as many as 80,000 geisha. Today there are close to 10,000 geishas.
Sidebar: Daddy has penchant for geishas..but have been spoiled having traveled to Asia for the last ten years on business..love the adherence to this tradition still alive out there..
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